Budget Alphas: Oppo Realme 1 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro

By: Ajaay Srinivasan, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi Last updated : December 26, 2018 4:03 pm

Oppo has priced its most expensive Realme 1 variant at Rs 13,990. This is around the same price at which Xiaomi sells the 4GB variant of the Redmi Note 5 Pro in India and it’s safe to say that it has gone on to be the most successful budget device in the country lately. Which brings us to the most important question: Has the Oppo Realme 1 got what it takes to topple the Redmi Note 5 Pro?

Oppo just launched its Realme 1 as the first device under its newest sub-brand to compete with premium phones at the budget prices. The Realme 1 comes loaded with several unique features making the device powerful amongst its competitors but has done so by sacrificing a few features to bring down its price. 


While it aims to match Xioami’s market cap which stands at 31 percent, Oppo has priced its most expensive Realme 1 variant at Rs 13,990. This is around the same price at which Xiaomi sells the 4GB variant of the Redmi Note 5 Pro in India and it’s safe to say that it has gone on to be the most successful budget device in the country lately. Which brings us to the most important question: Has the Oppo Realme 1 got what it takes to topple the Redmi Note 5 Pro? Let’s find out. 





Oppo Realme 1


Upon first glance, the Oppo Realme gives its users a bold unique look with a fibreglass body at the back that has Diamond-ish finish which reminds us of the old Nokia Prism. The all-black design with various shades of grey on the back panel and curved edges make the Realme 1 quite sweet to look at and hold it as well. Though the glass-clad panel at the back could welcome dust and fingerprints on the device, that doesn’t stop the Oppo device from being the eye-candy it is. 


The Redmi Note 5 Pro for all its goodness offers a standard below par unibody design which isn’t great to look at. When not buying the black variant, the device’s thin bezels look much more visible in addition to the slightly thin black bezel on the inside of the glass panel. But having said all that, the design is not particularly out of touch either as Xiaomi has provided with an easy to reach fingerprint scanner and volume rockers on the sides. Not bad but certainly outdated.


Winner: Oppo Realme 1




While the Xiaomi device doesn’t provide with the best of designs, its display gives its users an immersive experience. The 5.99-inch FHD+ offers an 18:9 aspect ratio, a color contrast ratio of 1500:1 and a brightness that goes up to 450 nits. This means, not only does it offer an elongated and high-density display, the blacks on the screen are equally sharp and is bright enough to be used outdoors as well. 


Redmi Note 5 Pro 


Though the Realme 1 provides a similarly sized 6-inch FHD+ screen with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels, the maximum brightness on the phone renders it useless when taken outdoors. However, the phone comes with even thinner bezels than the Note 5 Pro, which looks pleasant to the eye but only when used inside a room.


Oppo Realme 1


Winner: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro




Performance is where the Oppo Realme 1 impresses the most and you’d be surprised how well it fares alongside its Xiaomi counterpart. The Realme 1 is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P60 processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage and can run all of your daily tasks swiftly, not only on paper. Not just daily usage, playing graphics intensive games like PUBG also kept the device running smoothly with no lags or heating whatsoever. The massive 128GB storage means you’ve got enough internal space to store all your photos and movies for entertainment on the go. 


For a reasonable comparison, the Redmi Note 5 Pro in question is the 4GB RAM variant which is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 638 SoC coupled with an Adreno 509 graphics unit. Though the 4GB variant handles day-to-day tasks well, it’ll surely not match up to the smoothness that 6GB RAM provides. Further adding to Xiaomi’s problems is the lower 64GB of onboard storage. The only hardware that seems to be working well for the Note 5 Pro is the fingerprint scanner which is absent on the Realme 1. 


Winner: Oppo Realme 1




Xiaomi’s MIUI 9 is overlaid on top of the not-so-latest Android 7.1.1  Nougat which could be a letdown since most of its competitions are running at least Android 8.0. Though the MIUI interface looks a lot lighter than usual, it’s not wholly bloat-free and still comes with a heavily customized interface which will need users to go through a steep learning curve. 


Oppo Realme 1


The Realme 1 device, on the other hand, comes with the latest Android 8.1 Oreo which is the newest stable Google OS for mobiles. Though the Oppo also comes with a heavy Color 5.0, considering it runs on 6GB of RAM means the Oppo device will perform smoother than the Note 5 Pro. However, ColorOS still needs some getting used to as apps are placed randomly on the home screen instead of alphabetical order. But we believe it’ll fare well when updates are seeded onto the device. 


Winner: Oppo Realme 1




With so much to praise the Realme 1 with, it’s the camera that doesn’t perform up to the mark set by the Redmi Note 5 Pro. The 13-megapixel rear camera is okay at best as most of the pictures clicked appear to be washed out with no level of detail. Though color saturation can be improved with the help of a Super Vivid mode, low light pictures are pretty noisy. However, the front-facing 8MP sensor on the front does some justice to the device as it clicks decent portraits with the right depth of field.


Redmi Note 5 Pro


It looks like another field day out with the Redmi Note 5 Pro where its camera is the winning point of a conversation. At its release, Xiaomi achieved much praise for employing a dual 12MP (f/2.2, 1.25µm) + 5MP (f/2.0, 1.12µm) camera with phase detection autofocus and dual LED flash. The camera performs as good as any sub-Rs 30,000 smartphones with quality portrait and bokeh shots as well as in low light environments using the lens with a higher aperture to absorb more light. Even the front facing 20-megapixel sensor clicks sharp pictures with different effects and handles outdoor & indoor shots with enough detailing. 


Winner: Redmi Note 5 Pro




The battery on the Note 5 Pro is a 4,000mAh power unit which lasts more than half a day on power usage and over a day of moderate use. The device does not include fast charging meaning it takes a considerable amount of time to get charged to 100 percent. 


Although the Oppo Realme 1 comes with a rather smaller 3,410mAh battery, the normal use made the phone last more than one day which is quite impressive. What’s more surprising is that even when the phone was tested with heavy usage like playing games, making calls and browsing the internet, the Realme 1 still made through to the end of the day, Kudos to the software optimization and the MediaTek chipset.


Winner: Oppo Realme 1 




Oppo looks to be set for a serious business with its newest lineup as its first Realme device boasts of better performance and smoother design than its Xiaomi counterpart. Not only did the Realme 1 overpower the Redmi Note 5 Pro, in terms of performance, it did so by setting high standards on a cheaper price scale. Even the software optimization, as well as the use of a power-efficient MediaTek chipset, played an important role in providing a better battery package. 


But there is a catch to it as Oppo doesn’t provide its users with a fingerprint scanner on the Realme 1 device. Though this might not be a concern for some as the phone is well equipped with a facial recognition software, the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor would just have been a little handier. 


Also, the pricing of the Oppo smartphone is kept at a substantial low point to trigger Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 Pro. While you can buy the most expensive variant of the Oppo Realme 1 with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage for a price of Rs 13,990, it’s only the 4GB/64GB version of the Xiaomi device that you can buy and that too upon paying a higher Rs 14,999 price for the same. 

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